Response to Obama’s State of the Union Address

Complied by Courier Staff

President Barack Obama

Milwaukeeans held ‘State of the Union’ watch parties throughout the city. One of the major watch party gatherings was held at President Obama’s Organizing for America Campaign northside office located at 2201 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-4), who was in Washington, D.C. responded to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address to Congress.

“The President delivered a great speech tonight. His vision for restoring the economic security to the middle class by focusing on American manufacturing, energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values was a very timely message for Congress and the people of this country.

“I was particularly pleased to hear him focus on the need for reviving our manufacturing sector. After years of watching American companies ship jobs overseas, we are finally beginning to see entrepreneurs and manufacturers deciding to keep factories and production facilities here in the United States. This is evident in my home state of Wisconsin with companies like Master Lock which began bringing production back to Milwaukee—the same place where the company was founded in 1921. Manufacturing is a critical part of the economy in Wisconsin, and it will be important to invest in strengthening this industry to ensure that we have more good jobs here at home.

“Additionally, his plans to invest in the education of our students, and training for our workers will be necessary to fill the jobs of the future and provide much needed opportunities for the long-term unemployed.

“The President’s plans to expand American energy by investing in American energy sources and alternative energy will be extremely important as we work to create a cleaner, greener environment.

“Paramount in his speech was the need for a return to American values in this country – a country where everyone gets a fair shot and we provide for the most vulnerable of our society.

“It is my hope that my colleagues will heed the President’s call to work together for the betterment of our country. We have a responsibility to govern, and not simply block all progress for the American people as the Republicans have done since President Obama took office. It is our moral obligation as Members of Congress to continue to fight on behalf of our constituents and our country so that they can achieve the ‘American Dream.”

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) responded through its chairman, Emanuel Cleaver, II on the President’s address:

“I agree with President Barack Obama. We stand at a critical moment in American history. We can choose to uplift a small segment of our population or we can work together to improve the lives of all Americans. As our nation’s economy slowly rebounds, the African American community experiences disproportionately higher rates of unemployment, home foreclosure, educational and healthcare disparities, as well as economic hardship. As a result, vulnerable communities increasingly rely on public programs to meet their basic needs, but these are the very same programs the Republican Leadership has continued to attack. I along with President Obama believe that we all deserve a fair chance, access to jobs, good education, fair taxes and an opportunity to achieve the American dream, but every American does not have access to these kinds of opportunities.

“Recklessly eliminating vital programs like job training, education, and health care for millions of hardworking American families is not a roadmap to getting our economy back on track. It is a road map to permanently damaging the future wellbeing of our great nation. Tonight, President Obama laid out a clear blueprint to continue rebuilding our economy through American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values that will strengthen our nation’s fragile economy, not just for our children’s children, but for generations to come. I commend the President for recognizing the millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules everyday and for further recognizing that they deserve a government and economy that do the same. It is high time that we all pay our fair. It is also time that we stop with the obsessive compulsive worry that another American is trying to take what we have earned. We are in this together and if we, as a country, do not realize that fact very soon we are headed for a rude awakening.

“The Republican Leadership refused to take any real action on jobs for the duration of the first session the 112th Congress, despite our many efforts from the ‘For the People’ Jobs Initiative, including our over fifty pieces of jobs legislation offered by Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and nine job creation recommendations. More recently, they have rejected the American Jobs Act, which would provide opportunities for hard working American families. By denying the American people opportunities we are denying ourselves full economic recovery. The American Jobs Act is not a hand out, it is a hand up out of poverty, out of debt, out of foreclosure and most importantly, out of hopelessness. We cannot ignore the fact that those in our most vulnerable communities continue to suffer. Their sufferings are our own. It is a new year, which creates a new opportunity to do the right thing.

“The CBC also remains committed to working with President Obama to responsibly reduce the deficit, while safeguarding the progress that we have made in the job market by investing in our future. Investing in our communities goes hand in hand with full economic recovery. No investment, no recovery. It is time to put politics aside and make the promise of the America the practice.